Press Release | New York, New York | June 2, 2016

Discussion & Film About the New York State Pavilion at Queens Theatre

Documentary About Philip Johnson’s Iconic Queens Landmark Tells the Story of this National Treasure Over the Past Half Century

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Queens Theatre will host an outdoor screening of the documentary “Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion.” Produced by AquaRela Pictures and directed by Matthew Silva, the airing of the film will take place outdoors on Festival Lawn behind Queens Theatre – the premiere performing arts venue in Queens – in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 8 pm, next to the iconic New York State Pavilion’s “Astro-View” towers and the Tent of Tomorrow.

Named a National Treasure by the National Trust in April 2014, many believe the New York State Pavilion was the finest architectural achievement of the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Today, the Pavilion is an exhilarating public building that stands as a reminder of iconic civic architecture from the 1960’s, soaring high above a thriving Queens community and within one of the city’s greatest parks. Architect Philip Johnson designed the Pavilion for the World’s Fair fifty years ago, which drew an estimated 51 million visitors to Flushing Meadows Corona Park for a celebration of culture and technology.

“Modern Ruin,” tells the story of New York State Pavilion during the glory days of the Fair as well as its slow demise over the past 50 years. The film also details its post-Fair use as a 1960s rock concert venue and a 1970s roller rink, complete with vintage footage and interviews with people impacted by the Pavilion.

The screening at 8 pm is free and open to the general public. Guests are invited to bring chairs and blankets. Food and drink will be available for purchase. In case of inclement weather, the screening will take place inside Queens Theatre. For more information, click here.

The New York State Pavilion Design Competition

This special screening of “Modern Ruin” is being held in conjunction with an international ideas competition to solicit imaginative and creative visions for the future of the Pavilion. Presented by the National Trust and People for the Pavilion, and sponsored by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, the New York State Pavilion Ideas Competition is an “anything goes” approach to radically re-imagine one of New York City’s most iconic buildings and a defining landmark of Queens. The competition is open to anyone over the age of 13 who loves the Pavilion and wants to see it reopened for future generations. Visit the ideas competition website ( for the competition objectives, requirements, and resources for applicants. Entries will be accepted until Friday, July 1, 2016.

“Saving places usually starts with people sharing stories. In ‘Modern Ruin,’ Matthew Silva compellingly presents not just the history of the New York State Pavilion, but the heart and soul of its story as a place that matters to millions,” said Jason Clement, director of Community Outreach at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“With our design competition driving keen interest and creative ideas for its reuse, we look forward to the day when the Pavilion is once again open, enjoyed, and used regularly by the public.” Clement added, “We hope to look back at the impact of this film and ideas competition as turning points that helped make restoration happen. For that reason, the National Trust is honored to be the working with People for the Pavilion and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and her team to continue the public dialogue and celebration of this iconic place.”

Taryn Sacramone, Queens Theatre managing director said, “Queens Theatre was built as the Theaterama, part of the New York State Pavilion complex. The history (and future) of the Towers and Tent of Tomorrow is intertwined with our own, and this remarkable documentary tells an important part of our story as well. We are proud that we have the opportunity to screen this film for the public, with the Pavilion in view.”

Beyond this screening event, in order to drive community interest in the Pavilion design competition, the National Trust and People for the Pavilion have also partnered with two cutting-edge, Queens-based placemaking organizations, RPGA Studio and Hibridos Collective, to host events throughout Queens up until the July 1 submission deadline. Public events later in June are listed here.


About People for the Pavilion

People for the Pavilion (PFP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is to develop a vibrant community around the New York State Pavilion and to raise awareness about the structure. PFP raises awareness through public programs, events, and online communications, and reaches out to individuals, organizations, and institutions about the preservation effort, particularly those based around Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

About Queens Theatre

Queens Theatre (QT) is the premier performing arts venue in Queens. QT’s mission is to provide quality and diverse performing arts activities that are economically and geographically accessible to the 2.2 million residents of Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the nation, and the surrounding metropolitan region. To foster greater cultural awareness and appreciation, the Theatre presents and produces programs that reflect this diversity and features international, national and local artists.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. | @savingplaces

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